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Maria (Teresa) Barajas

2023-2024 UChicago Obama Scholars


Learning Center Community Engagement Manager, The Field Museum of Natural History


Chicago, IL



Fostering long-term partnerships in communities focused on co-creation to inspire youth and families towards careers and opportunities in science and history.

Teresa Barajas is the community engagement manager at the Field Museum, where she leads efforts to provide students and families in the Southwest and West sides of Chicago with out-of-school enrichment opportunities that inspire critical thinking and provide a safe space for learning and scientific inquiry. Teresa has created strong and dedicated partnerships with community groups, co-designing programming with communities to be relevant and responsive, centering community voices, and creating educational spaces where families can participate in meaningful programming. Teresa aims to use the Scholars program to help position her as a bridge for underrepresented students to reach a multitude of careers that may inspire the next generation of scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, collections managers, researchers, and conservationists from Chicago.

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The Barack Obama Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 46-4950751).

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